It has been shown many times over that people absorb knowledge and learn things more comprehensively through hands-on experiences versus strictly passive academic environments. The AEA encourages young people to explore the myriad educational options at their disposal when engaging with Mother Nature. Getting adolescents out of the hectic, dopamine-on-demand culture we live in and putting them in a much simpler, distraction-free environment gives them the unstructured time and space needed to explore their thoughts, emotions and behaviors. Outdoor activities like team sports, camping, hiking, field trips, gardening, farming and permaculture work facilitate personal growth on many levels for these still-growing human souls.
Outdoor adventures challenge us to push through personal boundaries while building crucial skills, including self-confidence, self-management, responsibility and cooperation. These experiences also introduce opportunities to teach concepts like flow, grit, and self-efficacy, and give a safe environment to practice healthy relationships with self and others.
Whether by stripping away the distractions of life, or through participating in tactile experiences, spending time out in the sunshine, teaches kids of all ages to remember the importance of play, hard work, and goal-setting. These skills are lasting and assist the younger generations in their personal and academic goals when they return to their homes.
- Team sports teach us how to think cooperatively, the value of winning and losing, how to be your best, and can establish life-long practices of healthy physical activities.
- Camping encourages autonomy, self-reliance, concern for our peers, and immerses participants in the natural environment to evoke gratitude, introspection and facilitate positive change.
- Hiking through nature reduces rumination, increases neuroplasticity and promotes self-awareness skills such as being able to recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior.
- Field trips expose young people to diverse experiences outside of their normal day-to-day routines, allowing for more comfortability to new situations and lower resistance to change.
All of the above are parts of becoming more aware of what one is truly capable of – the process of self-discovery of the mansion within.
In the spirit of gratitude and recreating the natural, the AEA aims to take advantage of nature’s classroom by encouraging all souls to commune with themselves, each other and our beloved Terra.